Meet Andre Sanchez, a photographer and illustrator that creates art that combines all sorts of media.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am a independent Illustrator/Photographer based in Paris, France. I started my profession as a freelance artist 7 years ago. My work consists of a mix of photography and graphic elements (mainly typography) on engraving or scanned material most usually.
How would you describe your artwork?
This kind of assemblage is more and more often called Photographism.
The mix of elements, specific to this digital collage technique, can also be seen in the subjects I choose. I like using the digital contents this way, for it gives me a lot of freedom when creating. It is symbolically rich, and lets me express my aesthetic vision of the picture. This is why in my compositions reality is unusual and the space and time dimensions are reinterpreted.
How did you first get interested in art?
When I was younger, I worked on an independent radio show, I was passionate about gothic music and post-punk, the records that we received were often very well illustrated, so I discovered the artwork of Vaughan Oliver and Dave McKean, it was a first interest for art. At the same time, my girlfriend was a student at Fine Art School of Bordeaux, she made me discover a lot of things …
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you started working as a freelance illustrator?
My biggest challenge was my first order for an illustration portrait of a physicist. It was for the newspaper Le Monde (very popular in France), and I really had no experience, and have never done a portrait before. A lot of stress, and finally, I managed to make the portrait without a problem. But I think they were indulgent with me.
How important are Photoshop and retouching in your work?
I realise all my artwork in Photoshop. After the shooting of my subjects, everything is recomposed or retouched. That’s why I call my work “Post-Photography”, because photography is only a part, that of the raw material, like paint for a painter… I like to recompose, re-interpret the photos. Photoshop allows you to do a lot of things when you master it well. Moreover, I teach this software in an art school in Paris.
What inspires you?
The work of other artists that is often a trigger to creation. It could be photographers or illustrators. I love discovering new creations. Living in Paris there are many museums and art galleries. I also like the cinema as it’s a great source of inspiration. I like movies from Peter Greenaway or Wong Kar Wai for example.
If you could photograph any person and capture them forever with your collage, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
I would be tempted to say a person who could not be photographed, like a painter I adore, Hieronymus Bosch or Jan van Eyck. But, I think I would choose a band, like Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson or Chelsea Wolfe. I’m a big fan of their music and I think my work would fit well in their universe. It’s really something I’d like to achieve.
Do you think that a picture is worth a 1000 words?
Most of the time yes, but it depends on the subject … But we mustn’t underestimate the power of a word, as Paul Eluard said in his poem “Liberty”. I noticed that in traditional Asian art painting and calligraphy were often mixed. For my part, I like mixed typography and photography a lot. Sometimes just for the aesthetic, but sometimes an illustration needs to be supported by a word.
Who is your favorite photographer and your favorite artist? Why do you find their work to be so special?
Difficult to choose only one. There are so many photographers and artists that I admire. I always liked Paolo Roversi, it seems that his pictures come out of a dream. I love the sensitivity, the delicacy that emerges from his photos, and it is always very theatrical. I also like very much the collage artist Eduardo Recife. He is very creative, mixes different kinds of media, always a touch of baroque, it seems there is no limit to creativity in him.
What is that one moment in your career so far that you are most proud of?
In 2015, I made 11 posters for the “Theater an der Wien” in Vienna, Austria. It’s an Opera House, and we made a very passionate job. I worked as freelancer with a communication agency from Vienna. They choose many personal artworks that we re-adapted, and we had a very good feedback and interviews in the Austrian press. I love Opera and it was a great opportunity to express myself.
If you could have any super-power what would it be and why?
Ok, then I pick you up and we go to take a coffee in south Italy… Oh no… It’s raining! Nevermind, let’s go to the Royal Alcazar of Sevilla and after that we can go to Santa Monica beach to see the sunset… TELEPORTATION for sure!!!